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WestLotto Advocates Loot Box Talks for Effective Regulation

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WestLotto, North-Rhine Westphalia's state lottery, has called on the politicians, scientists, and industry stakeholders in Germany to hold discussions about loot box regulations.

Last week, Interactive Entertainment (UKie), the UK's games industry trade body, presented 10 new guidelines for regulating loot boxes. Among the proposed measures were the restriction of loot boxes to over-18s, the introduction of technological and parental controls to access loot boxes, as well as increasing awareness about these regulations.

Following UKie's recommendations, WestLotto, through its head, Axel Weber, gave an official press release stating that Germany should adopt similar loot box guidelines.

Initially, it is only a matter of a voluntary commitment by the providers – but closely monitored by the government. So, that's where the exchange takes place, which we also urgently need in Germany when it comes to loot boxes. WestLotto is not demanding a complete ban on loot boxes either. But our social task must be to protect children and young people from gambling-like elements in games and to prevent them from developing problematic gaming behavior as early as adolescence.

Axel WeberHead of Public Affairs Communication at WestLotto

Like the UKie, WestLotto also demands that the government approves further research into hidden gambling opportunities in video games.

Raising Concern for Loot Boxes

In recent times, loot boxes have been a contentious topic in Europe. Some researchers have suggested that loot boxes could potentially serve as a gateway leading individuals towards gambling or developing problem gambling behaviors.

This has led to a growing concern among policymakers, gaming communities, and consumer advocates about the potential risks associated with loot boxes. Many have called for stricter gambling regulations and transparency in the gaming industry to safeguard players, especially vulnerable individuals, from potential harm.

Last November, an amendment to Australia's existing media classification bill was introduced that would restrict video game loot boxes to over-18s.

In January 2023, the European Parliament expressed its support for establishing uniform regulations concerning loot boxes. In the same month, the German video game age-rating body Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle (USK) started considering the inclusion of loot boxes in its age-rating system.

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